In the last few years attempts to cross the Channel and the North Sea from Belgium and France to the UK have increased | Photo: Picture-alliance/maxppp
In the last few years attempts to cross the Channel and the North Sea from Belgium and France to the UK have increased | Photo: Picture-alliance/maxppp

A court in Bruges announced on Wednesday that police had arrested six men "of Middle-Eastern origin" on the suspicion of migrant smuggling. The six were stopped in the Belgian port of Ostend in possession of two inflatable speedboats.

The six men -- two Iraqis, two Iranians, a Pakistani and an Afghan man -- have been taken into custody in Belgium after they were stopped off the coast near Ostend. They are suspected of attempting to smuggle migrants to the UK, said the Le Parquet de Bruges tribunal in Bruges, .

The men were arrested on the night of April 22. According to news agencies, when the men were stopped, two attempted to run but were quickly caught by the authorities. In addition to the arrests, police seized three vehicles.

The prosecutor Frank Demeester told news agencies that in the vehicles police discovered "two inflatable dinghies, two outboard motors and a can of petrol along with various tools."

The men are suspected of "human trafficking," across the North Sea. Their presumed objective was Great Britain, reported InfoMigrants French.

An investigation is now being launched to determine the role of each of the men. In January, the Belgium authorities stopped five Iranians and one Afghan man on the beach at La Panne, near to the Franco-Belgium border. That time, the men were suspected of being victims of smuggling, about to launch into the Channel and attempt their luck at crossing the sea.

 

More articles